While in many car accidents it is easy to identify the party that caused the accident, in some cases the negligent driver cannot be identified. In cases involving a phantom motorist, an injured party may be able to recover uninsured motorist benefits from his or her insurer, if the injured party can establish negligence. Often in cases involving a phantom motorist negligence must be established via circumstantial evidence.
In a recent case, a Florida district court of appeal set forth the standard under which inferences that are described or claimed in a negligence action must be reviewed. If you suffered harm due to a South Florida car accident, it is important to retain a seasoned attorney who will work diligently on your behalf to help you recover any damages you may be owed.
Facts Surrounding the Accident
Reportedly, the plaintiff was a passenger in a minivan when the minivan came upon a ladder that was laying across the road. The driver of the minivan stopped suddenly and was struck from behind by a delivery truck. The plaintiff filed a negligence claim against the driver of the delivery truck and an uninsured motorist claim against the driver of the minivan’s insurance company. At trial, following the conclusion of the plaintiff’s case the insurance company filed a motion for a directed verdict, arguing that there was no evidence the ladder came from another vehicle, and even if it did there was no evidence of negligence. The court denied the insurer’s motion. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury found the phantom motorist that allegedly owned the ladder sixty percent at fault and the delivery driver forty percent at fault. The insurer appealed.